Burnaby: To gauge Burnaby citizens’ opinions on the Kinder Morgan pipeline/tank farm/terminal proposal and on the opposition position the City has taken, the City of Burnaby engaged Insights West in June 2014 to ask Burnaby residents for their thoughts on several aspects of the proposal. In September, the City asked Insights West to poll Burnaby citizens again.
“We want to be sure that we are understanding citizens’ ongoing and developing concerns about this project, providing them with all of the information we have available, and representing their concerns in the application review process,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan.
The second poll – as did the first — clearly demonstrates that the majority (93 per cent) of
Burnaby residents are aware of the proposal and that most of them are opposed to the proposal.
This poll also demonstrates, however, that the percentage of citizens opposed to Kinder Morgan’s plan is increasing. In June, 61 per cent of citizens who had an opinion on the proposal said they opposed it. Now, 68 per cent of those who have an opinion oppose the project. The poll also shows that more citizens are now aware of key facts about Kinder Morgan’s proposal, including that:
the pipeline would result in seven times the current number of supertankers carrying oil
through Burrard Inlet;
the oil the new pipeline would carry is for export, not for use in Canada;
the new pipeline would carry unrefined bitumen – not the refined oil product carried in the
90% of the proposed pipeline would follow a new route in Burnaby. Contrary to what
Kinder Morgan says, in Burnaby this is not a pipeline “twinning” that follows the existing
routeOpposition to the proposal is almost equal in all areas of the City, and citizens continue to support the City’s opposition to the project – 68% of citizens indicating they agree with the City’s decision to oppose Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal.
The poll also indicates that fewer people now believe that the proposed expansion would create long-term jobs in Burnaby (down from 57% to 48%).
“The fact is that the pipeline would not create long-term jobs in our City and people are becoming increasingly aware of that fact,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan. “Even Kinder Morgan president, Ian Anderson, has now acknowledged this publicly, saying ‘as far as jobs go, it’s right when one reflects on what the long-term permanent jobs are to operate and maintain a pipeline aren’t a big number…are not significant.’ What this pipeline would do is to threaten existing jobs in many critical employment sectors, while creating unacceptable health, fire, safety and ecosystem impacts that a large majority of our citizens are unwilling to accept.
“Though this poll clearly demonstrates that more than two thirds of our citizens oppose Kinder Morgan’s proposal and support the City’s decision to formally oppose the expansion, it also demonstrates that many Burnaby citizens still unaware of key detrimental aspects of the proposal. The oil industry spares no expense to tell us their proposal to dig up our city to transport and store unrefined bitumen then ship in supertankers through Burrard Inlet to offshore markets is benign and will provide us economic benefits. We know better and will continue to work to ensure that our citizens have access to all relevant information on this proposal.
“It’s our exceptional town centres and their commercial and residential developments, our beautiful neighbourhoods, our parks, our developing high-tech and clean-tech sectors and our diverse and growing population that are keeping – and will continue to keep – Burnaby’s economy one of the country’s strongest. We need to continue to debunk the myth that any new jobs will be created by a massive amount of oil pumping through our city. In fact, once construction is completed, we expect no job increase.
“With regard to Kinder Morgan’s suggestions that they have chosen their new route through the conservation area in response to citizens’ wishes to avoid going through back yards, the fact is that the majority of our citizens (73%) are aware that Kinder Morgan has announced that their latest ‘preferred route’ is through the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, but don’t want the pipeline there either. Burnaby residents don’t want this pipeline to go anywhere in this city – not through back yards and not through the conservation area we passed laws to protect – and the City will continue to fully support its citizens’ opposition.”
The poll results will help to guide the City’s future actions and communications on the Kinder Morgan proposal.